Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register 1925-1936 with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available at the link. 375 pages with black & white photographs and extensive tables


The Congress of Ghosts (available as eBook) is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of and the 10th year of effort on the project dedicated to analyze and exhibit the history embodied in the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ. This book includes over thirty people, aircraft and events that swirled through Tucson between 1925 and 1936. It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders. Order your copy at the link.


Military Aircraft of the Davis Monthan Register 1925-1936 is available at the link. This book describes and illustrates with black & white photographs the majority of military aircraft that landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. The book includes biographies of some of the pilots who flew the aircraft to Tucson as well as extensive listings of all the pilots and airplanes. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author, while supplies last.


Art Goebel's Own Story by Art Goebel (edited by G.W. Hyatt) is written in language that expands for us his life as a Golden Age aviation entrepreneur, who used his aviation exploits to build a business around his passion.  Available as a free download at the link.


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race (available as eBook) is available at the link. This book describes and illustrates with black & white photographs the majority of military aircraft that landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. The book includes biographies of some of the pilots who flew the aircraft to Tucson as well as extensive listings of all the pilots and airplanes. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author, while supplies last.


Clover Field: The first Century of Aviation in the Golden State (available in paperback) With the 100th anniversary in 2017 of the use of Clover Field as a place to land aircraft in Santa Monica, this book celebrates that use by exploring some of the people and aircraft that made the airport great. 281 pages, black & white photographs.


Thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.


the register


I'm looking for information and photographs of pilot Theis and his airplanes to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click this FORM to contact me.






You may NOW donate via PAYPAL by clicking the "Donate" icon below and using your credit card. You may use your card or your PAYPAL account. You are not required to have a PAYPAL account to donate.


When your donation clears the PAYPAL system, a certified receipt from Delta Mike Airfield, Inc. will be emailed to you for your tax purposes.




Ray Theis appears once in the Peterson Field Register, sometime between August 16 and 29, 1936 (he did not record an exact date in the Register). He arrived at Colorado Springs from Oklahoma City, OK. He identified Colorado Springs as his destination. He flew with three unidentified passengers in NC10884, a Stinson S Junior, S/N 8060. The aircraft owner was identified as Theis.

Theis was difficult to research, since there were several Ray Theis's at Likewise, he has no Web presence. But, this 1928 REFERENCE lists brief information about Raymond Addison Theis (one of his five entries across four Registers was signed "Ray A. Theis"). He was born in Chicago, IL, December 29, 1901. The 1910 U.S. Census placed him living with his parents John A., a first generation German immigrant, (age 44) and Sarah M. (42) and brother Frank A. (19) at 3527 Broadway in Kansas City, MO. Also in the household was Mabel Dockson (24), a cousin. His father worked in the grain industry. Their address today is in a commercial/residential neighborhood of low-rise, brick buildings.

The 1920 Census placed him (age 18) and his parents still living in Kansas City. Frank and Mable were not with them. He was employed as an automobile mechanic, probably while he was in college. Theis' father was a clerk in a grain operation. Frank became an influential civic leader in Kansas City and was the CEO of a grain company as well as president of the Board of Trade.

R.A. Theis, 1922


Theis attended and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1923, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity. Photograph, right, was cropped from his 1922 fraternity group picture.

R.A. Theis soloed during May, 1922, as a college junior, and eventually held pilot certificate 334 issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce (probably acquired in 1926 when certification rules went into effect for pilots). The 1928 REFERENCE linked above stated that Theis did "civilian flying only." It was not clear if that meant that he used his airplane(s) for business as well. In 1928 he worked with the Letchworth-Theis Company in Kansas City, MO. I could find nothing about this company. If you have information, please let me KNOW. At some point he moved to Tulsa, OK, probably to work for the Skelly Oil Company. He was known to fly a Spartan aircraft belonging to the company (see below).

Theis had at least one accident. An article from the Madison Capital Times (WI) for September 17, 1930, below, described the accident, which, given any sensitive human being, might have made him think twice about flying anymore.


Princeton, Wis. - Two persons were killed Tuesday afternoon when a stunting plane crashed at the municipal airport here. Both were residents of Princeton.

The dead are:


MISS KELM died almost immediately and MRS. SCHWANEK died from injuries this morning at 6:30.

The pilot, RAYMOND THEIS, suffered minor injuries.

THEIS, of Tulsa, Okla., was enroute from St. Paul to Chicago and had stopped here to visit some relatives. He had taken up Edward Clewine and several acquaintances and stunted over the city. MISS KELM and MRS. SCHWANEK were to be his last passengers, before he left for Chicago.

Apparently intending to swoop down on the field, touch his landing gear and take off again. THEIS miscalculated his altitude, ripped off a wing and the landing gear, the plane turning end over end for about 600 feet. The motor was thrown 100 feet from the wreckage.

Dist. Atty. R. W. Peterson said he would conduct an inquiry today and should the pilot be found guilty of negligence by a coroner's jury, charges of manslaughter may be filed against him.

MISS KELM is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Kelm, and three brothers, Herbert, Eugene and Arnold, all of Princeton.

MRS. SCHWANEK is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Wuerch, and three brothers.


The Sheboygan Press, May 7, 1931 (Source: Woodling)


Charges of manslaughter were placed against him and a jury trial adjudicated the case the following May. The Sheboygan Press (WI) of May 7, 1931 reported the results, left. I do not know his activities during the remainder of the 1930s, or whether he continued to fly. At some point he married Ruth Ann. If you can fill in the details, please let me KNOW.

Theis did appear to move from job to job and occupation to occupation. We can track him around the western U.S. through a series of city directories available to view at The 1939 Oklahoma City directory identified him as a manager for the Muehlebach Beer Company with an address of 2125 Wilshire Blvd. There is a Wilshire Blvd. in Oklahoma City today, but that address is in the middle of farmland with no homes anywhere nearby.

Raymond A. Theis, Obituary, Kansas City Times, March 11, 1964 (Source: Woodling)
Raymond A. Theis, Obituary, Kansas City Times, March 11, 1964 (Source: Woodling)


The 1940 U.S. Census corroborated his occupation with Muehlebach. Theis and Ruth Ann owned their own home, valued at $7,500. His income was listed as $3,600 per year, a good sum in 1940. The Oklahoma City directory for 1944 identified him as an engineer for the Douglas Aircraft Company. He was at the same Wilshire Blvd. address.

About 1945 he moved to California. The 1955 city directory for Westwood, CA listed him as a real estate investor. The 1958 city directory for Santa Monica, CA listed him as an agent with Star Investment (real estate). All the city directories list him living with his wife, Ruth Ann.

Theis passed away March 10, 1964 in Los Angeles, CA. The Kansas City TImes (MO) of March 11, 1964 reported his death, right. He apparently was divorced at some point, remarrying Charlene.

Theis also appeared as a passenger in the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register in Tucson, AZ. He was flying with Margaret Perry. They landed at Tucson Friday, April 5, 1929 at 10:10AM. Based at Los Angeles, CA, they were westbound from Tulsa, OK to Los Angeles. They flew in the Spartan NC8058. He also landed as pilot in command at Tucson, on May 6, 1929. He carried a single passenger, L.R. Dooley in the Spartan he identified as NX8077.

Theis also appeared twice in the Parks Airport Register on May 1 & 2, 1930. He flew the Spartan NC61N. He also landed at Albuquerque, NM and appeared in the Oxnard Field Register on June 20, 1930 at 12:00Noon. This was about three months before the accident documented above. He flew the Spartan NC61N owned by the Skelly Oil Company.